Article by Harry Lipsiea, Devils Lake Journal Sports, January 30th, 2017.
The Lake Region State College men's basketball team scored 89 points Sunday afternoon at the Devils Lake Sports Center. It, however, was instead the squad's defense that won the day for LRSC against Mon-Dak Conference foe Dakota College at Bottineau. The Royals held the Jacks to just 64 points on the to its fifth conference victory of the season.
While LRSC's ability to shoot efficiently and find ways to score were important, the team's defense made the difference, Lake Region State College second-year head coach Jared Marshall pointed out to the Journal.
"We've really stepped up our defense as of late," he noted. "First, we held United Tribes 20 points under its average and tonight we limited Bottineau in the 60s. The guys are taking pride on the defensive end right now and it shows. Every team in the Mon-Dak can score, by being able to lock in and limit opponents like that you are going to give yourself a much better chance to be successful. I was very proud of our defense tonight."
Cedric Boone paced the Royals with 22 first-half points as the team jumped out to a 52-30 advantage at the half. As DCB keyed on the sophomore guard in the second half, other players stepped up offensively.
"Cedric had an excellent first half shooting the basketball," Marshall said. "They really focused on him in that second half and that opened up everyone else."
The coach was pleased that his team never lost focus or coasted in the final stanza despite holding a large lead throughout. With that, LRSC did a nice job limiting any potential runs of the Jacks, Marshal stated.
"The guys dug in all night and kept playing hard. There was no second-half letdown," the coach commented. "Our message at the half was that they were going to come out fired up, so we needed to stop any momentum they got. We did a great job of stopping their runs by getting stops and making shots."
Boone led the way for LRSC with 29 points and seven rebounds. Jordan Bolton finished with 21 points. Jayson Edwards also hit double figures with 13 points on five-of-six shooting. Derrick Laudenbach chipped in with eight points and 11 rebounds. James Streeter added six points. Jon Lund and Drew Thielges scored three points while Ben Rennie, Sam Riley and Harvey Barr rounded out the scoring with two points each.
After playing all six Mon-Dak opponents, LRSC is 5-1 going into the second half of its conference schedule.
A season ago, the Royals struggled late in the year with a 1-6 record down the stretch. While it's a nice start, Lake Region State College is focused on playing its best ball during its second time seeing conference opponents.
"Our concentration is on not being complacent," Marshall stated. "We can't take a single thing for granted. Every night, we know we are going to get our opponent's best effort. To walk away with wins, we are going to have to be ready to fight every single night."
On Wednesday, LRSC hosts Bismarck State College. The Royals edged the Mystics 92-90 earlier in the season.
"It's nice to be home," the coach said. "We had some nice wins on the road, now it's going to be huge to take care of business at home. It starts against a good Bismarck State College team. They are a tough opponent."